Woman in luxury bathtub reading tablet with candles

© Guido Mieth - Stone / Getty Images

Bathroom Remodeling Trends Focus on Spa-Like Upgrades

October 6, 2021

Bathrooms have become popular spots to renovate during the pandemic, particularly to outfit with more spa-like features, according to the 2021 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, a survey of nearly 3,000 homeowners planning or who have recently completed a bathroom renovation.

An upgraded white bathroom

Caroline Sharpnack © Houzz

The report shows a higher interest in both bathtub and shower upgrades. The percentage of homeowners who relax in their renovated bathroom by soaking in the bathtub is up by six percentage points this year, reaching 61%, the survey finds. That outpaces the 54% share who unwind with long showers.

More than three-quarters of renovating homeowners added premium features to their bathtubs and showers. For the bathtub, that often included space for two or silent whirlpool baths. Shower upgrades included rainfall showerheads, dual showers, body sprayers, and thermostatic mixers, which maintain a steady temperature.

Vintage style wooden vanity

Jason Snyder © Houzz

“In the midst of the chaos created by the pandemic, we’re seeing homeowners turn to their bathrooms for respite, creating calming sanctuaries with premium features, hygienic surfaces, and plants and other greenery,” says Marine Sargsyan, a senior economist with Houzz. “Given the major changes involved, homeowners renovating their bathrooms are seeking out professional help at a growing rate, and hiring general contractors.”

The median cost of bathroom projects rose to $8,000 this year. Higher-end projects started at $30,000.

Elegant bathtub with gorgeous exterior view

Lucy Call © Houzz

The following are some additional trends revealed in the report:

  • More greenery: Nearly one-third of homeowners added plants to their bathroom after a renovation for their aesthetics, their role in creating a calming environment, and their help purifying the air.
  • Marble is hot: Marble is being used by renovating homeowners this year more often than before. Marble is becoming a favorite for flooring in and outside the shower and walls outside the shower.
  • Colorful vanities: White continues to be the most popular choice, but it is getting more colorful competition. Blue and wood vanities are gaining in popularity. The share of homeowners opting for blue vanities has doubled compared with last year (8% in 2021, from 4% in 2020), while medium and light wood tones are becoming more common (14% and 8%, respectively in 2021).
  • Lighting priorities: More owners are adding lights to their bathroom upgrades. Wall lights and recessed lights remain the two most popular upgrades. Also gaining popularity this year are lighted mirrors, such as those with LED lighting and anti-fogging systems, pendant lights, and chandeliers. Dimmable lighting is also contributing to a more spa-like atmosphere.
  • Commode upgrades: More than a third of homeowners who upgraded their toilets during renovations added technology. Bidets remain the most popular tech feature, added by one in five homeowners, followed by self-cleaning mechanisms, heated seats, overflow protection, and built-in nightlights.
  • Custom medicine cabinets: Nearly one-third of renovating homeowners installed custom or semi-custom medicine cabinets. Many of these cabinets also included features like hidden plugs and lighting on the inside.
Source: 
2021 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study,” Houzz (Oct. 6, 2021)